It was in 2003 when, being a great simulator flying
buff and an owner of a
reasonably large collection of flight simulators, like legendary DID´s
Retaliator, Spectrum HoloByte´s Falcon 3.0 and many more,I
became seriously interested in the history of the flight simulator legend –
Microsoft Flight Simulator. I decided to cover the development of all of its
versions ever released. At that time, however, I did not have the foggiest
idea how difficult this task would turn out to be. Microsoft Flight
Simulator is not only one of the oldest computer flight simulator, but its whole family is the
largest in the world. This website actually is not dedicated to history of
flying, is not dedicated to generally all flight simulators, like other
mentioned. By the way, I
would like to recommend you quite good article
"Moving Through the History of Flight: Inventors and Innovators".
This website is dedicated to the detailed description of the Microsoft
Flight Simulator history. This in fact means, that it includes subLOGIC
Flight Simulator and few relate add-ons as well. In my opinion,it is necessary to save the
information for history.
My website started in 2005.
My first and at the beginnings
also the only source of information was Internet where you can find either
masses of files dedicated to individual versions (Apple II FS2,
MSFS2) or special websites that try to follow the whole
history. You can find either very brief
websites or more
detailed and its authors come from various countries, for example
or a very nice article by
Klein from Germany (on FlightSim).
There is also an article about history of Flight Simulator in
Wikipedia, the free Internet encyclopedia.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, it is not much correct.
official Microsoft website describing the history of Flight Simulator in
English language. Unfortunately it already does not work as well as in other languages.
The Flight Simulator genealogy
is fairly well covered from version 3.0 onwards. Nevertheless, earlier
versions are much more difficult to track down. Unfortunately, although
Internet provides an immense amount of useful information, it is also a
source of all conceivable misinformation. To make the matters worse,
erroneous facts are frequently adopted by authors of new articles without
After a considerably long
period of searching I finally found
Jos Grupping’s website
from the Netherlands which turned out to be the most
comprehensive and accurate source of my first information. Jos has been
working on the Flight Simulator history for several years. As Jos is an
active type of person and has some other interests, there was still a lot to be done in
research of Flight Simulator history. That is why I decided to
contribute with my own website and my confirmed information.
some time I realized that I would need my own copies of all the versions.
This would be the best way how to find out the years of release, facts about
authors and graphics. Otherwise, I would always have to face misinformation,
errors and inaccuracies. However, it is not easy to get your own copies,
particularly very old ones, Japanese editions and special releases.
First, it was necessary to determine the actual beginning of the Flight
Simulator history, then to sort out its versions and match the computer
platforms for which those versions were designed.
Part of my collection
let‘s begin with some basic facts
are various flight simulation programs with very similar or even identical
names which have nothing to do with subLOGIC/Microsoft “Flight Simulator”
program. For instance, in 1982 Psion released their “Flight Simulation” for ZX 81 and ZX
Spectrum, followed by Myrddin Software which produced a similar
program for Amstrad CPC in 1984. In 1983 Artic Computing Ltd. made “Flight
Simulator” for ZX Spectrum, and in 1985 Microdeal did the same for Sinclair
Two men of subLOGIC -
Bruce Artwick and Stu Moment
first version of Flight Simulator 1 was created by Bruce Artwick under his company label subLOGIC.
out in 1980.
It was not in January 1979 as stated Wikipedia and many other sources.
The first issues were designed for the
Apple II and TRS-80. Later, the same producer released another versions
designated with Roman II for Apple II, Commodore 64, Atari (8bit), Atari ST, Amiga, Data
General/One. There were also versions for NEC PC-9801, NEC PC-8801, Color Computer 3 and MSX.
Simultaneously, Artwick (subLOGIC) also prepared releases designated Flight Simulator
1 for IBM PC,Apple Macintosh
and Texas Instruments Professional Computer, Flight Simulator 2 for IBM PC and Tandy 1000/ 1200HD/ 2000.
They were released under Microsoft label. The author of all of them was Artwick who
later sold all Flight Simulator rights to Microsoft. These parallel releases
for such a wide range of computers caused immense chaos. Nevertheless,
nowadays it is quite normal that a PC game is created by one company and
released by another one. Things got even more confused after Artwick left
subLOGIC. The company went on producing new flight simulators and flight
simulation related accessories (mentioned elsewhere). Microsoft pretends
that it has nothing to do with the earliest version and presents Microsoft
Flight Simulator 1.00 from 1982 as its first version. It should be pointed out
that Artwick and his company subLOGIC, later BAO, also programmed further
versions for Microsoft until 1996 when BAO, Artwick’s second company, was
swallowed by Microsoft for good.
Simulator X and Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.00
important notes about the research
have been flying simulators for a considerable long period, my collection
comprises many old and present versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator. However, getting
earlier versions as well as versions for other computer platforms was much more
difficult. Obviously, they were withdrawn from the market long time ago. Therefore I
had to buy them either in
auctions or elsewhere. I spent a fortune!!!
Thus, after several years my collection was complete.
there was another problem. Most of the early FS versions were designed for
other computers than IBM PC or they were designed for very old IBM PC´s with
OS DOS, with 5.25 inch floppy drivers. Therefore original computer platforms
or their emulators were necessary. The emulators are the computer
programs, which can run another programs, also Flight Simulators, created
for the other type of computer, for example for Apple II, on some current
computer. So, you can run Flight Simulator for Apple II, Amiga or other kind
of computer, on your table PC or notebook. You do not need to have the
original hardware, which is hard to buy and it is very expensive. It is even
possible, with the proper emulator, to run Microsoft Flight Simulator on
your mobile phone. BUT! Of course, it is a tricky way to get the old FS
running with the emulator. I use mainly
MESS for Windows.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2
for IBM PC and subLOGIC Flight Simulator II for Amiga running on mobile
I managed to run and evaluate all my packages, and retrieved information.
Unfortunately, even though you own genuine media and manuals, you can never
be sure about the exact year of release. In some cases the year of copyright
does not correspond to the actual year of release. So, I had to use other
sources of information as well. In this way I have compiled the Flight
Simulator complete history. Now it is time
to present it to you.
You can find a brief
description of the website news on the right edge or following the link to
the special news page.